An Iraqi militia group threatens to target Turkish interests in response to, what it has denounced as, Turkey’s “blatant interference” in Iraq’s internal affairs.
“We refute and denounce the recent comments of the Turkish Prime Minister [Recep Tayyip Erdogan] and consider them a blatant interference in the internal affairs of Iraq,”' Asaib al-Haq said in a statement on Thursday.
Earlier this week, Erdogan accused the Iraqi government of sectarian behavior, warning that Iraq may meet the same fate as Syria.
“Any attempt to rip apart [Iraq's national fabric] by playing on sectarianism and spreading the poison of division damages the interests of all, and whoever does this will not be safe from harm,” the militia group said.
The two countries’ relations turned sour last year after Turkey expressed support for fugitive Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi and gave him refuge. Hashemi has been sentenced to death in Iraq over involvement in terrorist activities.
Furthermore, Turkish airstrikes in northern Iraq on Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) bases have angered Iraqi authorities, prompting them to call on Turkish officials to stop attacking the PKK on Iraqi soil.
The PKK has been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region inside Turkey since the 1980s. The conflict has left tens of thousands of people dead.